Shafik Sachedina is an important man in the Institute of Ismaili Studies. He was born in Tanzania, Tunisia, Eastern Africa, on May, 1950. He studied in England at the Guy’s Hospital Medical and Dental School at the University of London where he earned his degree in 1975 and got his certificate to practice dentistry. He currently holds office at Aga Khan’s Secretariat in Aiglemont, France.
Sachedina is currently the Jamati Institutions’ department head. This institution was created by His Highness, Aga Khan. Sachedina is only a titular head at the institutions because the department heads of the various sections of the institutions are not answerable to him. These department heads are directly answerable to the Imam. However, Sachedina coordinates the activities of these department heads. As a matter of interest, his position is not constitutional.
The Institute of Ismaili Studies is a research institute which purpose is to promote the study and awareness of the contemporary and historical culture of Muslim societies. Its main goal is to promote a better understanding of the relationship of the Muslims with other societies and faiths. The institute also preserves and maintains the largest collection of Ismaili codices in its library. Students who study the Muslim culture use these codices as their research material.
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The institute also offers interested students with two graduate programs, namely, the Secondary Teacher Education Programme and the Graduate Programme in Islamic and Humanities according to cqc.org.uk. Apart from these academic functions, the institution also serves as a venue for the Ismaili community members in order for them to have a better understanding of their history, ethnic concepts, including knowledge in subjects that are not discussed more often such as esoteric Islam and Shr’ism.
The Jamiti Institutions operates 16 primary areas where it has established its branches. Sachedina coordinates the activities and programs of these branches being the head of the institute. As part of his work in these areas, he interfaces the Central Asia communities of the Aga Khan Development Network programs.
Sachedina also travels abroad as part of his work with the Jamati Institute. He promotes the goals of the institute whenever he goes to other countries. At one time, Sachedina and his delegation went to Russia and met with Mikhail Bogdanove, the Russian Deputy Minister on Oct. 2017. He met with the Russian minister as the personal envoy of Aga Khan IV. He was able to discuss with the minister a number of important matters including the recent developments in Syria and Afghanistan. Sachedina praised the Russian government for being able to peacefully resolve the conflicts in these regions and encouraged the minister for his country’s position against terrorism and extremism.